NCCI Announces Maury Cotter Leaders of Change Class of 2017


WEST HARTFORD, CT (July, 2017) – The Network for Change and Continuous Innovation: Higher Education’s Network for Change Leadership, (NCCI), is pleased to announce the selection of two higher education administrators for its 2017 Class of Maury Cotter Leaders of Change.

The two 2017 Maury Cotter Leaders of Change recipients are Joy Gates-Black, President, Delaware County Community College and Paula Gill, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness with Belmont University. NCCI will recognize the 2017 Leaders of Change during the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon at the 2017 Annual Conference on July 29, at 12:30 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Created in 2013, the recognition program identifies leaders of change throughout higher education, recognizes them for their accomplishments, and helps link them with their peers to leverage further the impact of their good work. Beginning with this 2017 class of Leaders of Change, NCCI is proud to name the Leaders of Change Award for founding member Maury Cotter, in recognition of her significant contributions to the Association and the higher education profession.

“This important award program supports NCCI’s broader strategic effort to identify and support those individuals who are leading change on their campuses and to grow the network of change leaders within higher education,” said NCCI President Teresa Hartnett, who is the Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. “I congratulate these two outstanding leaders, as well as all of those who have been nominated for recognition. They truly reflect the values of NCCI: innovation, continuous improvement, collaboration, excellence, and diversity of perspective.”

Founding member and Past President of NCCI, Maury Cotter retired in January after a distinguished tenure as the Director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Quality Improvement. In that role, Cotter coordinated the development and implementation of UW-Madison’s strategic plan over a 20-year period. Among her accomplishments with NCCI, Cotter led the effort to create the Leveraging Excellence Award Program, which recognized higher education institutions for developing initiatives where effective academic and administrative practices have been successfully implemented beyond one department, campus or institution. NCCI administered this program from 2008 through 2013 and then it shifted the focus to recognizing “leaders of change” at higher education institutions. In addition to her vast contributions to the growth and success of NCCI, Cotter coordinated the national Total Quality Forum – a collaboration between higher education and major U.S. corporations, and she served on the implementation committee for the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities.

The NCCI Advisory Council, led by Peggy Huston, Chief Operating Officer, Campus Shared Services, at the University of California, Berkeley, administers the Maury Cotter Leaders of Change Award program. Nominations are evaluated by a volunteer review team, led by Monica Kane, Assistant Provost at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and LuAnn Stokke, Director of Operational Excellence, Finance and Facilities, at the University of Washington.

Here is more information on the 2016 Leaders of Change:

Joy Gates Black

President, Delaware County Community College

Recognized for her role as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Success,

Tarrant County College

According to Dr. Gates Black’s NCCI Leader of Change nomination, “Dr. Linda Joy Gates Black has been an instrumental force in the development of student success pathways at Tarrant County College (TCC).  Dr. Black, as the TCC family calls her, was among the first to introduce the concept of Achieving the Dream to Tarrant County College.  Under her direction, TCC transformed from a 50,000+ credit student, multi-campus organization with an average graduation rate of 8% to what is now the 15th leading graduate-producing college or university in the United States.  During her seven years with TCC, Dr. Black helped shift the College’s primary focus from student access to successful student completion of credentials.  In her role of leading the six campus presidents toward more consistency and coordination of priorities, Dr. Black furthered the attainment of TCC’s Vision 2015 Goals through strong, visionary leadership of all instructional and student development functions of the College.  Throughout this process, Dr. Black used a comprehensive, direct, inclusive approach that started with all members of the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team being informed and fully engaged in reaching the goals and expectations expected of an Achieving the Dream Leader College.  Through cross-functional teamwork, data collection and analysis, and continuous improvement, Dr. Black led TCC to achieve its Vision 2015 Goals, as well as its Wildly Important Goals, or WIGs – all of which focused on student learning, retention, success, and completion.”


Paula Gill

Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Belmont University

As Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Gill is responsible for evaluating the university’s progress toward its performance objectives and for seeking ways to improve services and processes that provide value for students.  Among Dr. Gill’s recent accomplishments are facilitating an inclusive, campus-wide strategic planning process, Vision 2020, and overseeing its ongoing management and implementation. She also led a complete review and improvement of all enrollment strategies and communications, reducing the time from completed application to decision by 83 percent and resulting in the largest increase in freshman and graduate enrollment in the history of the University.

In addition, her portfolio of responsibilities includes the newly consolidated Library and Information Technology Services (LITS), a department reorganized under her leadership that led to the hiring of Belmont’s first Chief Information Officer and first Director of Instructional Technology. Dr. Gill also led Belmont’s most recent SACS reaffirmation for accreditation initiative and currently leads operational improvement efforts in numerous academic and administrative units, including the reorganization of the Division of Student Affairs


About NCCI

NCCI is a professional association dedicated to improving higher education nationally and internationally by providing a collaborative professional network for change leadership. NCCI has more than 90 institutional members and more than 1,000 individual members worldwide.